After the playing a round at Poplar Creek Country Club in 40 degree weather, I thought for sure I’d be done golfing for the year. Then suddenly, nearly two weeks later, Chicago was hit with some 60 degree weather. Taking advantage of this, I met up again with Trent Roberts at Maple Meadows Golf Club.

Maple Meadows is located in Wood Dale, Illinois, which is approximately 25 miles east of downtown Chicago. The course is owned by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, which also owns Green Meadows Golf Club (a 9-hole course) in Westmont and Oak Meadows Golf Club (an 18-hole course) in Addison. Of the three golf courses owned by DuPage Forest Preserve, Maple Meadows is the newest course, opening in 1998. The course actually consists of an 18-hole course called the West 18, and a 9-hole course called the East 9. Trent and I played on the West 18 course.

Although the course was the newest of the three, they still had some old, uncovered golf carts. While we were waiting to tee off, Trent talked to the course ranger about the carts, and the ranger explained that the reason they still have uncovered carts is because of the tunnels you have to go through in order to get the 1st holes of both the West 18 and East 9 courses. The tunnels are fairly small in width and height, and if the carts had the cover, someone could easily damage the cart while trying to go through the tunnels. The ranger did say that the course is going to be doing away with the tunnels over the winter break, and the carts would be replace with newer models with covers.

Maple Meadows is a par 70 course, measuring in at 6,438 yards from the back tees. The course consists of five par-3 and three par-5 holes. According to the course layout on the scorecard, water hazards touch nine of the hole. When we played, many of the water hazard had nearly no water and was overgrown by tall grass, almost to the point you couldn’t tell if it was actually meant to be a water hazard. For our round, only two of the holes had water touching it, and only one where you had to hit over water. Sand traps touch all of the holes, either on the fairway or near the green, and it looked like they were very well maintained, aside from the sand being a little packed down due to rain. According to the website, they describe the course as “a modern combination of links and prairie design”, which translates to rolling hills and small-to-medium sized trees.

I played a little better this round, compared to my last couple of rounds. My drives were still not where they used to be. I was making solid contact with the ball (at least it sounded and felt like it), but I wasn’t getting the distance I was seeing earlier in the year. I had two or three drives that actually looked like I knew what I was doing. For my iron shots, I topped at lot my shots, probably because I think I was standing up during my downswing. Near the end of the round, I also realized I was standing with my feet too close together, which caused me to sway left and right during my swing. After I noticed this, I started standing with my feet farther apart, and I did notice an improvement.

My chipping and approach shots were mediocre. A lot of shots with my pitching wedge shot sharply to the right, probably due to a weak grip or rotation of my wrist on my downswing. I really need to work on that. My putting was decent; I 1-putted 2 times and 2-putted 12 times. The greens were fairly challenging, due to hole placement and breaks in the greens, but the speed of the greens were inconsistent, because of rain the night before and a recent aerification of the greens.

I should also mention that the grass on the greens, the grass on the fringe of the greens, and the grass on the fairway leading up to the greens was very similar in height and hardness. Because of this, on some of the holes I decided to putt instead of chip (since my chipping was inconsistent) when the ball was within 5 feet of the edge of the green. It was from this spot where I made the best shot of the round. The ball sat about 5 feet from the edge of the green and about 30 feet from the hole, and there was a noticeable break toward the hole. I figured I would just putt it, let it roll down the break, and try to get it close to the hole for an easy tap in. Instead, it just went into the hole! It was also the only hole (a par-4) where I shot par!

I ended up shooting a 115 (45 over par), which I was pleased with because it’s my target average for the 2009 goal list. Trent didn’t have that good of a round (his excuse was he was playing with a different driver), but he still managed to shoot in the high 70’s. We finished our round in about 4-1/2 hours, and probably a little faster if some groups in front of us didn’t slow down. Trent and I weren’t the only ones who took advantage of a beautiful October day in Chicago.

Maple Meadows Golf Club – Scores & Stats
West 18 course length: 6,057 yards (white tee boxes)
West 18 course par: 70
West 18 course rating/slope: 68.3/118 (white tee boxes)
My score: 115 (45 over par)

Maple Meadows Golf Club
272 Addison Road
Wood Dale, IL 60191